It was meant to be a two-week training trip to Thailand for martial arts exponent Rebecca Kane to hone her skills.
But it ended with her winning a professional bout against an experienced female fighter in a Muay Thai boxing match-up billed as “Ireland v Thailand” in front of an enthusiastic crowd of fight fans.
Rebecca, who is a champion in both martial arts and Irish dancing, won with a technical knockout in the second round after landing a flurry of punches on her opponent.
It came as a big boost for the 32-year-old who has been invited to represent Ireland in the Muay Thai world championships in Mexico in May and compete in the European championships in Hungary in July.
Rebecca, runs the Kane Academy in Marsh coaching martial arts, said she had not expected to be asked to fight during her Thailand trip.
She said: “I have been to the Philippines to take part in full combat stick fighting three times and for training trips, but this was the first time in have fought in Thailand.
“Because I have been asked to fight for Ireland I went to do a training camp in Thailand. They asked me how many Thai fights I have had and kept saying I was “very good” and they would get me a fight. They put me on the bill for an A Class professional bout with full Thai rules.
“I knocked her down in the first round with elbows and she looked really dazed, but the bell went for the end of the round and that saved her. I got in with a flurry of punches in the second round and her corner team stopped it.
“The Thais loved it. They wanted me to get a visa and continue competing out there but I have the academy to run and I had to come back.”
Rebecca, who picked up just over £100 in prize money for her win, said: “It was a massive pick-me-up. I’m really tempted to go back, but I need to focus on my students. If I went again, it wouldn’t be for a two-week holiday, it would be for two months.”
Rebecca, who is also set to compete in an Irish dancing world championships in Holland in April having already won th British Open Championships in 2016, is now seeking sponsors to help fund her for Mexico and Hungary.
“I have never had a sponsor,” she said: “I have always been self-funded – doing extra jobs to raise the money. Now I’m looking for local companies who would like to sponsor me and help me towards achieving world titles.”